Re: virus: Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.

Eric Boyd (
Sat, 13 Mar 1999 13:13:03 -0500


From: Reed Konsler <> <<
Do you see Voltaire's brilliance? He ended in a question. It is still a question.

A rhetorical question, though! Why would you *want* to replace a blood-sucking monster?

>In all honestly, I don't know why you would want to put anything in
>the place of <God> -- are we not better off without superstition and
>virulent Viruses of the Mind?

Very Good! Are you better off than me?

Maybe not, but I think that you are mistaken in attributing your relative success to <God>, or even to <Faith>.

The less I seek definition, the better off I am!

Really? My experience has always been opposite. The more explicit I am about what I want, the better I understand the issue, the better results I achieve. Your statement sounds more like "innocence is bliss", which is perhaps true, but also quite shallow.

Free to do what, exactly? Why wasn't
she free in school? Why do we feel
constrained and prostrate before the
higher mind?"

I don't know. I certainly feel free here at school. Maybe that's becuase the knowledge often comes easy to me -- I don't have to work at it, like some people (apparently) do.

>In my opinion, raising a child to
>depend on faith is like telling them to stick their head in the
>and approach the challenges of life like an ostrich.

Ostriches do that? I don't think so. But, it might sometimes be an effective strategy for humans. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.


Actually, I don't know that ostriches do that, in fact I suspect that "head in the sand" is some type of feeding or cooling behaviour. But anyway, I have always argued that conscious knowledge and understanding is better than ignorance, even if they have the same outward result. To give a mechanical analogy, ignorance is like a ball sitting on top of sphere. It may be stable, but the least little nudge can send it flying off into space. A position based on knowledge and understanding is more like a ball sitting in a bowl -- it takes a very large bump to make it unstable.

My favorite example of this is an argument than Christians make against atheism, which goes something like this:

"If there is no God, then I can do whatever I want! I'm going to go out and rape and pillage the town!"

The conclusion one is supposed to draw, of course, is that we must have a God, in order to ensure the morality of humans.

However, the conclusion that I draw is that this is a dangerous person -- their morality is based on the (supposed) existence of a greater being, and not on a strong sense of right/wrong or a deep understanding of humans and their societies. Their position is based on ignorance, and is unstable (since, if they ever lost their faith, one could conclude from the above that they might go on a rampage), while a true morality is stable, since the holder understands *why* certain are wrong.